LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 6, 2014) — Tonight will be a big evening for two longtime members of the University of Kentucky Athletics Training staff and a University Health Service physician who regularly works with the UK Athletics program.
Keith Webster will be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) Hall of Fame. Jim Madaleno will be honored as this year's KATS Kentucky Collegiate Athletic Trainer of the Year. And, Dr. Scott Black will receive recognition from KATS as the Sports Medicine Person of the Year.
The awards will be presented as part of the 2014 KATS Annual Members Meeting and Symposium being held in Lexington today and tomorrow.
Webster, head athletic trainer for administration and an adjunct faculty member in the College of Health Sciences, has been at UK since 1997. He is responsible for coordinating resources from UK HealthCare for Wildcat student-athletes and supervises one full-time and six licensed graduate assistant athletic trainers as they provide daily coverage for 10 sports. Webster has received a number of awards on the national, regional and state levels. He served as a chief athletic trainer at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga.
"It is a true honor to be inducted into the KATS Hall of Fame," Webster said. "Being recognized by the many friends and colleagues I've met in the 29 years practicing in the state is a real highlight of my career."
Madaleno, director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer for football, also has been at UK since 1997. A part of the staff for seven bowl teams during his time with the Wildcats, Madaleno was elected as president of the Southeastern Conference Sports Medicine Committee last year.
"I am very humbled by this award," Madaleno said. "To be honored by your peers means so much. The athletic training profession is a rewarding one, knowing that we have an impact on a young person's life. What an awesome responsibility."
Black, who is medical director of employee health at UK, also serves as a team physician for UK Athletics. A native of Barbourville, he earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from UK.
"I am very appreciative of this award," Black said. "I have a great deal of respect for athletic trainers. They are the front-line, first responders for sports medicine and rarely get the credit they deserve. To be chosen for this honor means a great deal to me."
KATS President Rob Ullery had words of praise for the honorees.
"Both of the athletic trainers being honored are pillars in the profession," said Ullery. "Keith and Jim are well respected not only locally, but nationally as well. I cannot think of two more deserving individuals than Keith and Jim. Dr. Black has contributed greatly to our legislative efforts in Frankfort and works tirelessly on behalf of student-athletes at UK and across the state.
"Kentucky should be proud to call all three of these individuals our own."
Other highlights of this year's KATS conference include UK HealthCare Sports Medicine's Dr. Darren Johnson moderating a session of clinical case presentations, and National Athletic Trainers Association President Jim Thornton will deliver the keynote address.
Continuing education units will be available.
More information is available at the KATS website www.kyats.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Allison Perry, 859-323-2399.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2014) — One of University of Kentucky’s very own returns to the Carnegie Hall stage less than six months since his last performance at the prestigious music venue. Jefferson Johnson, artistic director of The Lexington Singers and choral activities director at UK School of Music, will make his debut in The Distinguished Concerts International New York series conducting The Lexington Singers beginning 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.
Johnson is no newcomer to Carnegie Hall as he conducted the National Festival Chorus in a concert this past February. Active on UK’s campus, he is a professor in the UK College of Fine Arts teaching advanced choral methods and literature and choral conducting. In addition, he directs the graduate program in choral music at UK School of Music and conducts UK Chorale and UK Men’s Chorus. He is also the founder and director of the popular university male a cappella group, the acoUstiKats.
Outside of UK, Johnson is an adjudicator and guest conductor for many high school and collegiate choirs throughout the country conducting honor choruses in 30 states. He has appeared as a featured clinician at American Choral Directors Association and MENC (National Association for Music Education) conventions across America. His debut at Carnegie Hall was in 1999 conducting The Lexington Singers in a performance of Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem.”
Under Johnson’s direction, The Lexington Singers will join forces with singers from Florida, New York and Vancouver in an innovative work called “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” that blends the classical mass with bluegrass music. Special guests, Dailey and Vincent, who are hailed as “the rock stars of bluegrass” by CMT.com, will also accompany the choral ensemble on stage. The group has won seven International Bluegrass Music Awards, including Entertainers of the Year, and has worked with such legends as Ricky Skaggs and Doyle Lawson.
The Lexington Singers first formed in 1959 when choral experienced men and women decided Lexington needed a community chorus. Phyllis Jenness of UK Music Department was the founding director, followed by James Ross Beane. The Lexington Singers first took the stage at Carnegie Hall in January 1967 under Jenness. Then returned in March 1999 led by Johnson.
Tickets for the concert featuring The Lexington Singers and Dailey and Vincent conducted by Johnson, range from $20-$100 based on seating, and can be purchased online through carnegiehall.org or by phone at 212-247-7800.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2014) — Beginning this fall, students enrolled in the University of Kentucky’s equine science and management undergraduate degree program will have the ability to better customize their college experience to match their interests and career aspirations.
Since its launch in 2007 and official implementation in 2009, the four-year, science-based degree program’s curriculum has featured two main tracks for students — science and management. Under the new curriculum structure, which was approved by the university in May, students will be able to choose among four emphasis areas to better tailor their education to their interests and career goals. Those emphasis areas are equine science, business, community leadership and development, and forages/pasture management.
According to Bob Coleman, director of undergraduate studies in equine science and management, the change has been two years in the making.
“As we hit the five-year mark of the program, we re-examined the curriculum to see if it was best meeting our students’ needs,” he said. “Are they on track? Are we preparing them for life after college?”
The result was a shift in how students could map out their courses during their undergraduate years.
“Students are now able to design a curriculum that best fits their interests and will enhance their prospects within the horse industry’s diverse career opportunities,” Coleman said. “They will get to align their passions and interests with their education, which we expect will ultimately enhance their skill set and knowledge base.”
Incoming freshmen and transfer students will automatically follow the new plan this fall. Current students will be given the option to switch to the new curriculum or stay on their current path after they weigh the benefits and their options.
The update results in students taking one less biology course, and choosing emphasis courses instead of completing 21 credit hours from a set list. They can also select multiple emphasis areas to highlight, which may be important to them as they pursue careers after graduation. To obtain recognition for completing an emphasis area, students must take nine credit hours in that area, in addition to 12 additional credits from other emphasis areas.
“There are a lot of details in any curriculum, but the essential element, to me, is its location at a state land-grant university in the Horse Capital of the World,” said Nancy Cox, dean of UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Our industry partners have embraced this program and have contributed invaluably to our students’ real-world education.”
The equine science option will provide students with a strong background in basic sciences, preparing them for graduate school or careers that include laboratory research assistants, breeding technicians, pharmaceutical sales representatives or technical representatives for the feed industry.
The business option will help students learn skills related to marketing, operations and management of equine businesses, preparing them for careers as farm managers, as well as business managers for equine enterprises, breed associations and sales associates. This area also introduces them to the diversity of the equine industry through courses in equine law, sales, careers, event planning, marketing and human resources.
Community leadership and development is an area for students who are interested in leadership roles in business, breed associations or nonprofit equine organizations and Cooperative Extension. Courses in this emphasis area will enhance their communication skills and bolster their awareness about community dynamics, leadership development and agriculture communication.
Finally, in the forages/pasture management option, students will obtain knowledge in agronomic practices. This area will prepare students for careers related to general horse farm management or graduate school. These students will take courses in soil composition and fertility, forages, weed identification and control and pest management.
“The equine industry is more than just working on a breeding or training farm. Thus, we have designed a curriculum that will allow students to be employed in many of the diverse areas of the horse industry,” said Ed Squires, executive director of the UK Gluck Equine Research Foundation, past UK Ag Equine Programs director and former chair of the equine curriculum committee, which was instrumental in navigating the approval process for the new curriculum. “We have added numerous new equine courses that broaden students’ experiences. This new curriculum is sure to attract students that have a broad interest in the horse industry.”
UK currently has 265 students enrolled in this undergraduate degree program, and expects the number of new students this fall to be in line with previous years, meaning there could be upward of 350 students in the program after the fall semester’s numbers are tabulated. Currently, approximately 65 percent of the program’s students come from outside Kentucky. Almost 80 percent of the students are women. The program has had 121 graduates since 2009.
MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2014) — In 2013, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare, Inc. forged an innovative, collaborative partnership that provided a pharmacy scholar with a unique glimpse into the future of health care through the creation of the UK College of Pharmacy/Kindred Healthcare Executive Pharmacy Fellowship.
The fellowship allows the fellow the opportunity to engage two world-class health care organizations in an executive training program at Kindred Healthcare focused on transitional care delivery methods, practice, and research.
UK and Kindred have extended their partnership and added two fellow positions to the program.
“As Kindred Healthcare continues to execute on its Continue the Care Strategy, the evaluation and implementation of medication-use initiatives across our post-acute care continuum are becoming increasingly important,” said James Poullard, divisional vice president of pharmacy services for Kindred Healthcare. “The early success of the program demonstrated that developing future pharmacy leaders in the area of post-acute transitional care pharmacy practice is essential to evolving pharmacy’s academic agenda around post-acute care and is also critical to overcoming medication use challenges in the post acute care continuum.”
“The College is proud to continue its partnership with Kindred Healthcare,” said Timothy S. Tracy, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy. “The fact that this unique partnership is already expanding in its second year is a clear indication that such industry-university collaborations are promising for the future of higher education and health care. We are thrilled to work alongside Kindred on this project.”
Transitional care focuses on interdisciplinary care delivery to medically-complex patients as they transition between different care settings. The fellow will interact with the full spectrum of Kindred’s business, including meetings, conferences, development seminars, and participation in policy and procedure development. Specific goals for the program are centered on developing skills in executive management, leadership, transitional care pharmacy practice, networking and applied research.
This year’s fellows are Tyler Stewart, a graduate of the UK College of Pharmacy, and Margaret Sidebottom, a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.
While primarily based in Kindred’s support center in Louisville, the fellows will work closely with the College of Pharmacy’s Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (IPOP) on applied research projects focused on transitional care outcomes. IPOP activities include design and implementation of applied research projects, preparation of manuscripts, research reports, research presentations, and analysis of outcome data.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center will host Expressions of Courage, a creative exhibit to honor those who have been affected by cancer on Friday, June 6.
Featuring the creative work of more than 30 participants, this inaugural event will take place in the atrium of Markey's Combs Research Building from 1 to 5 p.m. Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers will give opening remarks and lead attendees in a moment of silence to begin the afternoon.
Exhibits include visual art, poetry readings, dance exhibitions, and vocal and instrumental performances by patients, survivors, and friends and family. Everyone Is encouraged to attend, enjoy the artwork and performances, and show their support. Light refreshments will be served.
Expressions of Courage was made possible by gifts from the Markey Cancer Foundation and Biological Systems Consulting, Inc.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 6, 2014) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is now accepting employee and retiree parking permit renewal applications. University of Kentucky and Bluegrass Community and Technical College employees are encouraged to renew their permits at www.uky.edu/pts. Employees may also apply for permit renewal via campus mail by using printable forms found at http://www.uky.edu/pts. Starting Monday, June 16, employees may apply in person at Parking and Transportation Services in the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6), located at the corner of Press and Virginia Avenues. Office hours are 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Veterans Affairs Medical Center employees and UK retirees may apply for permits by mail; printable forms are available at www.uky.edu/pts. Starting Monday, June 16, these user groups may also apply in person at the PTS offices in the Press Avenue Garage.
2014-2015 parking permits must be displayed no later than July 1. Employees are encouraged to renew their permits as early as possible, so as to ensure delivery by June 30. Online application renewals will be available through June 24.
After six years of no permit fee increases, the university has instituted a moderate increase in employee permit rates. Standard employee permits for the 2014-2015 permit year are $33 per month, or $396 a year. Retiree permits for the 2014-2015 permit year are $5 per month, or $60 per year. Those who retired from the University prior to July 1, 1995, are eligible for permits at no cost.
All outstanding parking citations must be paid before an application is accepted. Citations may be paid online at www.uky.edu/pts.
Eligible UK employees may payroll deduct permit fees on a pre-tax basis. Pre-tax authorization must be completed each year. Employees may simply select the pretax option during the online application process or complete and submit an authorization form available at www.uky.edu/pts/online-services_pretax-deduction-enrollment. UK retirees and employees paying through methods other than payroll deduction are not eligible for pre-tax enrollment.
To complete an online application, applicants should have on hand their link blue login and password, correct home or work address and a credit card if not opting for payroll deduction.
For more information on permits, parking on campus or to receive forms, visit www.uky.edu/pts, call 859-257-5757 or visit Parking and Transportation Services in the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6). To stay up-to-date on campus parking and transit news, follow UK Parking on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKParking, subscribe to the Parking e-News email newsletter at www.uky.edu/pts or tune into 1700 AM.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2014) — UK Appreciation Day (UKAD) is a day for the University of Kentucky community to give thanks for all the hard work and dedication UK employees make to our great university.
This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in the Student Center. Activities (free for all UK employees) include lunch, UK program exhibits, business and community exhibits, live music, special guest appearances and, of course, the annual UK Appreciation Day T-shirt giveaway. UK Parking and Transportation Services will provide bus service at several stops around campus.
Supervisors from departments whose personnel are unable to attend are encouraged to download, complete and submit a T-shirt request form (PDF) to obtain shirts for their staff. Details are also available on the Staff Senate website, http://www.uky.edu/staffsenate.
Due to UK Apprecdiation Day, all restaurants and the Quick Stop store in the Student Center will be closed Thursday, June 5. Starbucks will be open for its regular summer hours.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Student Activities Board and Student Government Association have jointly submitted a proposal to host a debate between Kentucky’s candidates for the 2014 United States Senate race. The proposal focuses on civic issues including access to higher education, college affordability, post-graduate employment and a healthy economy.
SAB and SGA seek to host a student-produced event focusing on issues pertinent to young people. Civic participation and education of young voters has consistently been an issue in Kentucky elections, reflected in voter turnout in recent years. In 2008, the State Board of Elections reported that just over half, or 51.3 percent, of 17-24 year olds participated in the U.S. Senate election, and only 16.1 percent of that demographic voted in the primary election.
The event would help educate students on contemporary issues and each candidate’s platforms while engaging young people in the election, which has earned considerable national attention.
“SGA and SAB believe that a senatorial debate hosted at Kentucky’s premier, land-grant institution will benefit the candidates and their campaigns, but more importantly, Kentucky’s young citizens,” said Brad Allen, former SGA director of government relations and current senatorial debate co-director.
“With support from our fellow students and President Capilouto, we look forward to the possibility of working with the senatorial candidates to produce a thoughtful and engaging debate on our campus,” said James Collard, SAB director of engaging issues and senatorial debate co-director.
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has expressed support of the student organizations’ bid to host a student-produced debate.
On Friday, May 9, letters were sent to Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic candidate and current Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes notifying them of the student organizations’ desire to host a debate.
SAB and SGA are two of the university’s largest student organizations. SAB regularly hosts prominent public figures, most recently Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Both organizations are committed to enriching students’ lives through advocacy, education and enriching experiences. Both are confident in their ability to produce a legitimate, reputable debate.
SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.
SGA represents all undergraduate, graduate and professional students at the University of Kentucky. SGA serves to increase student influence over academic policy; provide necessary student services; to protect and expand student substantive and procedural rights; and better represent the student body in relations with the faculty, administration, Board of Trustees and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Connect with SGA at www.uksga.org, follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/UKSGA or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukstudentgovernment. For more information about SGA, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, email@example.com, 859-257-1909
Video by UK Research Media
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2014) — Scientists at the University of Kentucky are making an investment in the future of energy research by going back to school — elementary school.
A partnership between the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and three Lexington elementary schools aims to kick-start interest in scientific learning at a young age, by putting working scientists into classrooms to lead fourth-graders in hands-on demonstrations and experiments.
The "CAER 101" education program, which began with Russell Cave Elementary School 12 years ago, was expanded this year to include Liberty and Yates as well. CAER scientists presented the same, one-hour lesson to each of the three schools. Their goal was to complement and reinforce “disciplinary core ideas,” part of the new science standards.
The core idea in this instance was "What is energy?" Anne Oberlink, CAER associate research scientist, focused on the many different forms that energy can take.
"We were demonstrating sound energy, light energy and electrical energy," Oberlink said. "We had a coffee can that we put a piece of paper on, so we would tap our fingers on that. Or we had a tuning fork that we would hit and put under water, up to our ear."
Robert Pace, CAER assistant research scientist, demonstrated how collisions transfer energy, using a giant Newton's cradle.
"You might have seen the desktop toys that have the balls that clink back and forth, but mine is a little bit bigger," Pace said. "The energy is always getting transferred around; it doesn’t just disappear. It certainly allows me to really teach the principles that I’m trying to get across in a very visual and hands-on kind of way."
Andy Placido, CAER associate research engineer, focused on how electricity is produced.
"We just basically had a pole with a magnet in the middle and copper wire outside," Placido said. "You flip the magnet in the middle really fast, and you could actually show them on a multimeter that electricity was produced. We took a hand crank and hooked it onto a hobby generator, and we used that to power fans and lights and buzzers."
But that wasn't the only energy being generated in the classroom. Placido says the children's enthusiasm for learning was contagious.
"Once they got into it, they really had good questions — like they wanted to know 'Why does the number sometimes go negative?'" Placido said. "I would get pumped up every time, because you could tell the kids were interested. I am sure that’s what teachers really enjoy, when they see they’re getting through to the kids or the kids are interested in what you’re talking about."
Teachers and scientists alike say they hope that children who participate in the program will come away from the experience not just with a greater appreciation for the work that scientists do, but also a greater desire to "do science" themselves.
"A number of years, I’ve had kids draw what they think a scientist looks like," said Josh Radner, a science teacher at Yates Elementary. "And you’ll see a frizzy-haired white man in a lab coat. Today we had people of all colors. We had men and women, and people speaking with different accents. That’s really neat for (the students), because our kids are very diverse here, so they can see that scientists could look like them."
Liberty Elementary science teacher Kristi Fehr says she wishes she had received a similar introduction to science when she was in elementary school.
"I know when I was a senior in high school I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up," Fehr said. "If I had had more opportunities like this it might have been an easier decision."
Jack Groppo, a CAER principal research engineer who has been part of the project from the beginning, shares Fehr's sentiments.
"The reason I do it is because I wish somebody did it for me when I was in school," Groppo said. "That’s my primary motivation. Whenever you can take real engineers and scientists and bring them into a classroom and let children know that real people do these kind of things, right here in your own back yard, I think it makes science more real to them."
CAER 101 has three basic goals: to get scientists into classrooms, to provide experiments that teachers can easily duplicate, and to challenge other groups to do the same kind of outreach.
Groppo says the program is one that can be "pre-packaged" so that it may easily be copied by others.
"We'll give you the resources," he said. "Find a school in your neighborhood and just go do it. It doesn’t take that much time. It’s a phenomenal benefit — to the teachers and especially the students."
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2014) — This year’s Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award for outstanding commitment to historic preservation is being presented to not one, but two of the most dedicated preservationists and archaeologists working in the Commonwealth, University of Kentucky Adjunct Assistant Professors A. Gwynn Henderson and David Pollack. No two people could better represent the mission and meaning of this award. Not coincidentally, they also happen to be married.
Henderson is the education coordinator for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a joint partnership between the Kentucky Heritage Council and the UK Department of Anthropology. Pollack is director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, and for many years served a dual role as director of KAS and as staff archaeologist, review coordinator and site protection program manager for the Kentucky Heritage Council. Both are also adjunct assistant professors in the Department of Anthropology at UK.
Although neither is a native of Kentucky, it would seem you cannot think of an aspect of Kentucky archaeology in the past 30 years in which one or both of them didn’t have some kind of involvement.
Individually, Henderson has prepared archaeology-related content for teacher activity guides, worked on a traveling exhibit about Kentucky archaeology, and developed and administered two programs: the Kentucky Archaeological Registry, a landowner site protection program; and the Kentucky Archaeology Education Network, which serves as a clearinghouse of information for teachers and educators.
Her book, “Kentuckians Before Boone,” is likely responsible for more people being aware of Native American presence in the Commonwealth and debunking the “Myth of the Dark and Bloody Ground” than any other single publication.
Pollack has served as the director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey since its inception in 1995. In this capacity, he has also provided employment and research opportunities for numerous undergraduate and graduate students at UK, offering practical field experience and training. Through KAS, Pollack has been able to mobilize cost-effective efforts to assist state agencies and local governments in their compliance with state laws protecting archaeological sites and cemeteries — and improving our understanding of Kentucky’s past in the process.
Among the most noteworthy of such projects — Frankfort’s forgotten cemetery, the many unmarked graves on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, and the incredible site along Highway 61 in Cumberland County with evidence of occupation that spans nearly the entirety of human presence in Kentucky.
Pollack was also the lead in developing a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) database for archaeological sites and historic structures throughout Kentucky, which has helped correct errors in the collection of data and recording of sites, and greatly facilitated the way archaeology is conducted.
One of the most important legacies Henderson and Pollack have imparted to Kentucky preservation was borne out of a terrible travesty — the organized looting of hundreds of Native American graves by a few unscrupulous individuals at the Slack Farm site in Union County in 1987. Once the looters were stopped by law enforcement, archaeologists and a group of more than 500 local volunteers — organized by Henderson and Pollack — participated in a massive recovery effort to glean as much useful data from this important site as possible. These efforts resulted in a booklet written by Pollack, Henderson and Cheryl Munson of Indiana University-Bloomington, “Slack Farm and the Caborn-Welborn People,” as well as strengthened state laws regulating the looting of burial sites.
In addition to many other publications, Henderson and Pollack have worked with others to research, write and produce a series of videos through the Kentucky Archaeology and Heritage Video Series. Collectively, their work has greatly influenced and changed what we now know about Kentucky’s prehistoric Native American cultures as well as our more recent past.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2014) — The University of Kentucky has been awarded a $1.9 million grant to improve retention of students in the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, through a collection of initiatives dubbed "STEMCats."
UK is one of 37 research institutions selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to receive an award, from among 170 institutions competing for a share of $60 million in total funding. The five-year awards, ranging from $1.2 to $2.4 million, are intended to enable schools to focus on "significant and sustained improvement in retaining students" in the STEM disciplines.
Although the need for STEM graduates is growing nationally, fewer than half of all students who enter college with the intention of majoring in a STEM field leave with a STEM degree. Nationwide, STEM matriculation rates hover around 40 percent, but the rate is only half that, roughly 20 percent, among historically underrepresented ethnic groups.
Part of the challenge for educators is that many first-year students arrive on college campuses without adequate preparation for the rigors of college-level science and math, said Professor Vincent Cassone, chair of the UK Department of Biology and STEMCats project director.
"They have no idea what to expect, and I think it comes as a shock to some of them just how much work is actually involved in passing an introductory-level STEM class," Cassone said. "By the time they realize it, they may already be in trouble. It's not that they can't do the work. They just are not mentally and psychologically prepared for the challenges they face at the university level. The STEMCats initiatives are designed to help students get ready to succeed."
UK is partnering on these initiatives with colleagues from Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Tammy Liles, BCTC's associate dean for natural science, is associate STEMCats project director.
"BCTC is excited to be a partner in this very innovative STEMCats program," Liles said. "With both institutions working together to increase and retain students in the STEM pipeline, STEM students at BCTC will have opportunities to work in UK research facilities, live in STEM-designated communities at UK, and be part of a FastTrack student cohort designed to remove barriers of success while enhancing STEM opportunities and knowledge."
Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the UK College of Arts and Sciences, said that collaboration is a core strength of the STEMCats project.
"The strong collaborative relationship of this grant is a hallmark to the initiative, and will serve the program well in its multi-layered approach to improving student success, diversity and retention in STEM education," Kornbluh said. "The grant’s attention to all areas of instruction — in-class pedagogy, co-curricular research experience, preparatory training, residential life experience, among others — demonstrates the thoughtful commitment the university as a whole has to the success of STEM education at UK."
UK President Eli Capilouto said the HHMI award provides critical support for the future of university research, which will in turn produce dividends for the Commonwealth and the nation as a whole.
"The twenty-first century economy, and Kentucky’s future economic readiness, will be built upon innovative solutions to complex challenges," Capilouto said. "At the leading edge of the innovation-based economy is the American research university, the faculty who create new knowledge through research and discovery, and the students we teach. The grant support from HHMI we are announcing today will bolster our effort — in partnership with BCTC — to improve retention rates in STEM education, to create a talented workforce for Kentucky, and to prepare the next generation of creative scholars."
The STEMCats project has five key components, each aimed at improving the recruitment, preparation and retention of STEM majors.
1. 'FastTrack' Courses for Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics
To improve preparation of incoming students, two residential FastTrack courses, in biology and chemistry, will be offered preceding their fall admission, in addition to the successful math FastTrack courses already being offered. Similarly, a physics FastTrack course will be offered preceding the start of the physics curriculum in the sophomore year. Each course will be one week in duration.
2. STEMCats Living Learning Community
Based on the successful model of the "Wired" Arts and Sciences freshman residential college, students enrolled in the STEMCats program will be immersed in a community of learners within one of the residence halls on campus. There, they will engage in constant community-based academic and social activities. STEMCats from underrepresented minorities will have additional support from sophomore mentors from minority backgrounds, who will also reside in the community.
3. Freshman STEM Research Course
A new, multidisciplinary and inquiry-based research course — containing discussions, seminars, workshops, discovery-based wet-lab activities, and scientific and professional development activities — will be piloted in a year-round course that meets weekly. Course meetings will be conducted by a Community of Scholars, comprising research faculty from across campus and by invited external experts.
4. Team-based Summer Research Experience
During the summer session at the end of their freshman year, groups of eight to 10 STEMCats will join a research project in a laboratory of a faculty member in the Community of Scholars. STEM faculty across campus will be recruited as mentors for a cohort of 200-250 students each summer. The research experience will be enriched by research-related educational and professional activities, including students' presentation of their work in science forums.
5. Improving Introductory STEM Curriculum
Following the successful model of the current, two-part "Calculus for Life Sciences" series, new introductory chemistry and physics courses will be developed, with an interdisciplinary focus and a life-sciences orientation. Biology-enriched chemistry introductory courses are already underway.
These contact-intensive initiatives are being developed alongside vast advances in instructional technology, such as MOOCs (massive online open courses), which enable thousands of students to share a virtual classroom with a virtually unlimited seating capacity. Incorporating digital texts, video-based lectures, interactive virtual demonstrations, online discussion, and self-administered quizzes, MOOCs can be a cost-effective way to provide standardized instruction to many students at once.
UK launched its own successful Advanced Chemistry MOOC this spring, developed by UK faculty in partnership with the educational technology company Coursera. Some 10,000 registered for the eight-week, college-preparatory course, far exceeding the university's expectations.
While advances in instructional technology are helping instructors to be more effective, Cassone says there is still a real need for direct interaction between students and teachers.
"While the inclusion of instructional technology is a very exciting addition to the lexicon of educational tools in higher education, engaging students by committed professors and instructors, and exposing students to scientific research early in their academic lives will be critical in improving retention in diverse STEM majors and future careers," he said. "This is what STEMCats is all about — technology and scientific research with a human touch."
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; email@example.com
The ASHP summer internship is a 10-week training program for a Pharm.D. student, with one week conducted at the ASHP Summer Meeting and the remaining nine weeks being conducted at the ASHP Headquarters in Bethesda, Md.
A native of Canada, Beaulieu first arrived in the United States in August 2008 to play tennis for the University of Tulsa, in Oklahoma. After completing her undergraduate degree in biochemistry, she enrolled at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
The ASHP Summer Internship program is designed to provide a pharmacy student with “an opportunity to gain association experience in the specific areas of membership development and membership marketing at a national association headquarters.”
The program also seeks to help the intern understand the importance associations provide to the profession, while grasping a better understanding the value of remaining engaged in local, state and national pharmacy organizations.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2014) - Deborah Reed, professor in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, will lead one of five CORE programs of the Central Appalachian Regional Education Research Center (ERC) after a successful re-competition for a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health grant. The original grant was awarded in 2012 for two years.
The Central Appalachian ERC, an occupational safety and health training program, led by Wayne Sanderson, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the UK College of Public Health, consists of five programs: Occupational Health/Environmental Nursing, Professional Safety (a joint effort with Eastern Kentucky University), Mining Safety, Agricultural Safety, and Occupational Epidemiology. All five programs were renewed for $990,000 per year over the next five years for a total of $5 million in funding.
Reed leads the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) core which is geared specifically toward doctoral students in the college’s Doctoral (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. The goal of the OEHN program is to equip doctorally-prepared nurses to conduct interdisciplinary occupational- and environmental-focused research in rural and Appalachian areas that will inform and influence nursing practice, research and education in those regions.
“We have too few nurses who are specifically trained in occupational health and safety," said Reed, director of the Central Appalachian Regional ERC's Nursing Program. "We hope this training will benefit workers and employers in the Commonwealth and beyond."
Media Contact: Ann Blackvord at 859-312-3587 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2014) - A storybook serves as a healthy distraction for children during doctor's visits at the University of Kentucky Family Care Center located on Red Mile Road.
The 19 UK medical residents who provide pediatric care at the center offer children ages 6 months to 5 years a book to take home as part of a routine check-up. Statistics show that when a doctor encourages reading, children and parents are more likely to sit down together with a book. As an added benefit, the gift of a book leaves children with a positive impression of the clinical experience.
"They're just delighted - their faces light up and it changes the tone of the visit from something frightening to welcoming," said Dr. Susan Robbins, medical director at the Family Care Center, said of the children.
Earlier this year, members of AdvoCats, a patient advocacy group comprised of UK attendings, residents and lawyers, raised $1,800 to refurbish the library at the Family Care Center. The AdvoCats sold 276 t-shirts to raise funds, which will be used to purchase books for both single mothers and children who attend the daycare at the Family Care Center.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Family Care Center provides a place for teen mothers to complete their high school education while their children attend daycare at the same location. More than 30 pregnant and parenting teens from the Lexington area receive support through the center. With recent renovations to the library, many old and outdated books were discarded, leaving the shelves sparse.
Joanna Rodes, director of the Family Care Center, said the AdvoCats stepped in to help stock the library with new and relevant books for children as well as high school-age mothers. Members of the AdvoCats surprised Rodes with a check for new books after a group tour of the Family Care Center on May 8. Rodes said she was impressed with the high dollar amount the group raised for books and the group's genuine enthusiasm for the program.
"I was astounded by the size of the check, but what was even more surprising was that the residents were so excited," Rodes said. "That was a validation that we have a nice partnerships with the clinic, which is an essential part of the center."
Rodes is working with Holly Von Gruenigen, president of the AdvoCats, to purchase $1,300 worth of children and young adult books for the library and $500 worth of children’s books to be given out when the medical residents host literacy sessions with young mothers in the future. The donation to support literacy coincides with the American Academy of Pediatrics national advocacy theme for 2014.
"It's nice to be able to give extra books to the Family Care Center," Von Gruenigen said. "If you educate parents on the importance of reading, it makes a huge difference."
The AdvoCats plan to coordinate group literacy sessions with mothers and children at the Family Care Center later this year. Sessions will aim to instill an appreciation for reading in both mothers and children.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams; ElizabethAdams@uky.edu
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2014) — The public is invited to visit an online collection of historical photographs of people from Hazard, Ky. University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections has recently uploaded a vintage photo album on the Hazard Ice and Storage Co. Flickr page in hopes that citizens within the Hazard community can help identify the people in the photos.
The album is part of a collection that also includes copies of the incorporation and dissolution papers of the Hazard Ice and Storage Co. After outreach to the community, the collection will be available on UK's Special Collections digital library, Explore UK.
The Hazard Ice and Storage Co. was incorporated in Hazard County in 1921 by J. A. Roan, W. F. Ficklen Jr. and W. H. Oliver Jr. The company manufactured and sold artificial ice, ice cream and soft drinks. Additionally, the company operated cold storage plants and leased houses to its employees. The board of directors during the company's lifespan included V.C. Ficklen, D.H. Goodlette, Reta Gustat and Willis W. Reeves. The company was dissolved in 1944.
Though a small part of the collection relates to the business, the album of more than 130 pictures features mostly unidentified photos of everyday people and life in the community. UK Special Collections needs your help to give these photographs more meaning. If you have information on any of the individuals or places in the photographs, all you'll need to do is visit the album's Flickr page, click on a photo, and use the commenting feature to describe who or where the people are.
UK Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. The mission of Special Collections is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
For more information on the Hazard Ice and Storage Co. project, contact UK Special Collections at 859-257-8611 or email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2014) — The next director of the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has been named subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. If approved, historian and Distinguished Service Professor Phil Harling, who was selected from a national field of candidates, will take over the directorship and the position of John R. Gaines Endowed Chair in the Humanities on Aug. 15.
"It is a combination of recognized excellence in research and teaching, combined with his extensive service to UK and his knowledge of the administrative workings of our university that makes Dr. Harling an ideal director for the Gaines Center," said Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Ben Withers. "He will help us all make sure that the Gaines Center remains one of UK’s defining features, providing an unparalleled opportunity for undergraduates to explore ideas, discover their own voices, and learn from UK’s best faculty and staff."
Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty, the center embraces varied paths of knowledge, and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.
The new director is looking forward to take over the leadership position of such a prestigious program. "From my perspective, the Gaines directorship must surely be one of the best jobs on campus. So, I feel very fortunate and deeply honored to have been selected. Like all jobs worth having, it will present its share of challenges, but it will surely be very good fun, too," Harling said.
The Gaines Center is also designed to provide a link, intellectual as well as geographic, between the campus and town communities. It sponsors an array of public events, seminars and workshops that bring rich and varied resources of the Lexington community and UK together.
As part of its curriculum, the center provides an intensive education for approximately 25 third- and fourth-year undergraduate students. The main components of the center’s pedagogical program include an annual Gaines seminar taught by multiple faculty and a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor.
An admirer of the center's goals of providing extraordinary learning and leadership experiences, fostering the discussion of timely ideas, and advancing town-and-gown relations, Harling hopes to bring more campus awareness to the great work the center is doing and develop even more opportunities for its fellows.
"First and foremost, I’d like to see the Gaines Center reach out and build even stronger ties with the broader UK campus," Harling said. "The center needs to work in especially close cooperation with the other units in UK’s Academy for Undergraduate Excellence — the Honors Program, the Chellgren Center, the offices of Undergraduate Research and of External Scholarships. UK is enrolling more high-achieving students than ever before, so it’s crucial that we collaborate to create synergies that will optimize the success of those students."
In addition, Harling will look for new ways to be an advocate for the importance of studies in the humanities. "I think it will be important for the center to articulate and to champion the value of a humanistic education at a time when that value is, alas, no longer quite as taken-for-granted as it once was, even by many well-educated citizens. It seems to me that this goal is best advanced in tandem with yet another: to promote the Gaines program as an excellent opportunity for especially promising students across all of UK’s colleges, and to try to recruit the strongest applicants whether they aspire to be humanities professors, doctors, engineers or biotech researchers."
Harling has been a faculty member at UK for over 20 years. He grew up in Evanston, Ill., and received his bachelor's degree from Grinnell College in 1986 and his doctoral degree in history from Princeton University in 1993. A specialist in the history of modern Britain and the British Empire, he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has authored two books and numerous articles.
Harling is the recipient of several teaching awards at UK, notably the Provost Award for Outstanding Teaching, as well as research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Philosophical Society. A Distinguished Service Professor at UK, for several years he served as associate dean of faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, and was interim dean of the college for the 2008-09 academic year.
Harling's wife, Bettina Morrish, is a veteran history teacher and department chair at the Sayre Upper School. The couple live in the Bell Court neighborhood of downtown Lexington with their sons Nate and Nick, and their two dogs, Sally and Mason.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com